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Indie Developer Discovers His Game Crossed Over With Castlevania Whilst He Slept

SEATTLE – Indie developer Jason McNeil announced that his upcoming debut video game, Cozy Couch Quest, will receive a special Castlevania DLC, although he’s not sure why or how.

“I woke up last week and it was on my Steam page, fully compatible and licensed and everything,” McNeil tells Hard Drive. “I never even got an email about it. It’s just there now. My game isn’t even out yet.”

McNeil, a former programmer at Microsoft, has worked on Cozy Couch Quest in his free time for the last 5 years. He describes the game as a “chill, low-stakes RPG” about a brother and sister on an adventure to furnish their family estate with the most comfortable furniture in the world.

“I had to buy the Castlevania DLC to see what was in it,” McNeil says. “It adds a bunch of lo-fi versions of classic music, some posters, a pet Medusa Head, and Dracula’s throne from Symphony of the Night. You can even invite a bunch of different Belmonts over for a board game party. It’s all cool as hell.”

“But I didn’t actually have anything to do with this,” McNeil added. “I emailed [original Castlevania developer] Konami about it and they sent me a .pdf of a contract I’d signed, with a photo of me in a meeting at Konami’s headquarters at Tokyo. I’ve never been to Tokyo. All the other faces in that photo are blacked out. What is happening?”

Cozy Couch Quest is the latest game to feature a Castlevania brand crossover, following collaborations with Dead Cells, V Rising, and later this year, Dead by Daylight. Castlevania itself has been on hiatus for a decade, but following the recent success of its 5-season animated adaptation on Netflix, it’s found new success as a crossover property.

“We’ve seen this before,” says Arthur Gilles, a researcher for the Video Game History Foundation. “Whenever characters from one game guest star in another, it inevitably weakens their ability to stay in one franchise. Over time, this can result in unintended behavior such as streetwear brands, new ultra-rare drops in mobile gacha games, or becoming a Fortnite skin.”

Gilles continues, “Many researchers call this phenomenon Shovel Knight Syndrome, but we consider Capcom’s DarkStalkers series to be its patient zero.”

Software engineers are currently searching for a cure. In the meantime, however, game developers are advised to stay on the lookout for sudden unplanned crossovers. Potential symptoms include new assets appearing in the project folder overnight, particular songs coming to mind, or being Twitter friends with Edward McMillen.

“I guess it’s not that big of a deal,” McNeil says. “I’m not great at marketing, so any exposure is more than I had. Look for the silver lining, right?”

At press time, McNeil noted that several Cozy Couch Quest-themed cosmetic skins in Among Us had debuted without his knowledge at some point in the last 3 weeks.

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